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Grants to replace merit pay for Texas teachers

Published On: Oct 14 2013 09:29:39 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 01:03:53 PM CDT
Education, College Student
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

State merit pay for Texas teachers will be replaced next year with grants meant to help instructors at poorer schools improve their skills.
    
Tight budgets and education funding cuts since 2011 prompted the changes.
    
The 2013 Legislature passed a measure eliminating merit pay, known as District Awards for Teacher Excellence, or DATE. The last bonus checks were distributed this fall. Roughly 18,000 educators qualified based on performance in the 2012-13 school year.
    
Lawmakers decided to move the remaining $24 million earmarked for merit pay to the new Educator Excellence Innovation Program.
    
Grants will be available to schools where at least half of the students are educationally disadvantaged. Teachers will be eligible for support such as mentoring and incentives to reduce teacher turnover.